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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Root Growth and Diffusion Rates as Functions of Oxygen Concentration1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 25 No. 6, p. 463-467
    Received: Jan 3, 1961
    Accepted: Jan 30, 1961

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  1. L. H. Stolzy,
  2. J. Letey,
  3. T. E. Szuszkiewicz and
  4. O. R. Lunt2



This paper deals with two aspects of soil-oxygen-plant relationships: (1) the effect of O2 concentration on O2 diffusion rates, and (2) the O2 diffusion rate in relation to root growth of established plants. The study was designed to minimize the effects of CO2 on root growth during the experiment while studying the effects of oxygen supply and root growth.

An average O2 concentration of 0.7% above the soil surface virtually stopped root growth while only a few new roots were initiated at the 2% level. Depth of rooting and the O2 diffusion rate associated with this depth were proportional to the concentration of O2 at the soil surface. Root initiation was reduced or stopped when oxygen diffusion rates in the soil were in the range of 18 to 23 × 10-8 g. cm.-2 min.-1. Diffusion rates above 23 × 10-8 g. cm.-2 min.-1 permitted relatively good root growth.

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